The Ondo State APC Gubernatorial Primaries is scheduled to hold next week Monday and is also to take the same dimension as Edo's. It's going to be direct election as usual in order to curb disloyalty among delegates who are paid to vote for one candidate, but end up voting for their choices.
The pre-primary election campaign took a new turn when Governor Akeredolu decided to stretch out his friendship arms to the enraged party members in the state. He has begun to sue for peace in the party in order to help guarantee APC success in the forthcoming election. In his words to the APC Reconciliation Committee, he pleaded with disgruntled party members to embrace peace and the spirit of brotherliness.
According to Aketi, as he is popularly known:
“We must allow for peace. Let us get all of us, the aspirants, to sign that whoever wins, others will support him. Anybody I have offended I will apologise to the person. We must allow peace.”
This type of apologies is what has kept the APC family together and that's why the presidential primaries between Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and President Muhammadu Buhari went so peaceful without any rancour in the aftermath. However, the party has since lost this ingenuity which helped it to get into Aso Rock, and has instead allowed matters to get worse before even reacting to it. The imbroglio between Adams Oshiomole and Godwin Obaseki would have long been addressed properly without allowing it to degenerate into utter division and loss of weighty party members in Edo state, especially if the party had been proactive like this.
The major reason Akeredolu Apologised to party members before the primary election is not unconnected with the spate of decamping that has rocked the party in recent times, which if not properly addressed beforehand, it may lead to the complete loss of the state. In this vein, he is trying to enlist the supports of the eventual losers in the election, so as not to experience another batch of party crossing after the primaries.
Another rationale behind the move is that the same strategy was adopted in the Kogi primaries, when almost all party members who spoke at the campaign sued for peace and apologised on behalf of Yahaya Bello. It even took Governor El-Rufai and the wife of the president special times to appeal to party members in the state to forgive the young governor and it worked. So, the party has taken another ground to use the same strategy to unite party members in both the pre and post-primary election periods.
Signing peace accords isn't as difficult as remaining true to it. Members often reluctantly sign the accord in order to guarantee their participation in the primaries and will almost immediately sign out once they lose the primaries. Those who don't leave often get to work for the opposition party while still in the party and giving the lie.
However, the governor is now waking into the reality of what it means to lose the support of important party stalwarts in the state, which he actually needs to succeed.
Let's hear your take on this.
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